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Saturday open thread: How would you rank the teams in the NFC North?

It’s looking like we’re going to get a big shakeup in the NFC North this year. How will the teams stack up against each other?

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

After a strong finish to 2022 and a solid offseason, the Detroit Lions remain the favorite to win the NFC North this year—DraftKings currently has them at +130, followed by the Minnesota Vikings (+275), Chicago Bears (+380) and Green Bay Packers (+500), in that order. It’s the first time that I can remember where it truly feels like it could happen, and should happen.

Not only have the Lions gotten a lot better on paper, but some of their division rivals have gotten much worse. The Green Bay Packers took a massive blow losing Aaron Rodgers, though some may argue that he’s a shell of what he once was anyway.

The Vikings are also in the midst of change, and have lost some of their top players this offseason. Not to mention whatever the situation is right now with Dalvin Cook, who may or may not be playing for Minnesota this upcoming season. After having one of the most fraudulent seasons in NFL history last year, I expect the Vikings to come crashing back to reality this season.

As for the Bears, we love to laugh at them, but I can’t say that they’ve had anything but a solid offseason themselves. Their free agency period was a little questionable at first after dishing out serious money to not one, but two linebackers. But they made up for it by trading away the first overall pick for a haul and acquiring a ton of draft capital for the future.

Today’s Question of the Day is...

How would you rank the NFC North this year?

My answer: As you could have guessed, I have the Lions winning the division for the first time since 1993. The stars have aligned for them, and if they don’t win it this year, then it will be a major disappointment.

Next, I have the Bears. I wouldn’t have expected to have had them this high after last year, and I still don’t have much belief in them, but this is more just the Packers and Vikings looking worse. Justin Fields is going to have to make a huge leap forward for the Bears to make any real noise, but there is a real possibility they could see 7 or 8 wins and finish as the second best team in the division.

In third place is the Minnesota Vikings. I’m not ready to completely count out the Vikings, but they took a hit letting go of Za’Darius Smith to the Browns, and they just don’t feel like much of a threat right now. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they finished last in the division this year.

Lastly, I have the Green Bay Packers, who feel like the biggest unknown in this division. No more Aaron Rodgers means it’s finally time for Jordan Love to step up to the plate, and anyone’s guess is as good as mine on how that’s going to work out.

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